Steeples Deli calls itself “the 1st deli in Singapore”, and says it was opened in 1981. Before that, we only ever had sandwiches at home. Nobody sold or made sandwiches in shops. No-one. Ever. It was dark days. Mothers complained and said things like “I wish you could buy a sandwich outside, because I’m so sick of making them. Sick! You hear me? Sick!”
Tucked away in a corner of Tanglin Shopping Centre Not To Be Confused With Tanglin Mall, the seating in Steeples consists of stools in front of a counter where your sandwiches and other light meals are plonked before you after, as according to the sign, you have ordered and paid for them “before sitting down”.
I’m assuming they do a brisk trade at lunch and is very quiet in the afternoons, like at 4pm when we got there to grab a coffee (which was very good, by the way) and something to eat. They were out of pastrami so my first order of a Reuben sandwich and my second order of pastrami sandwich were both rebuffed and we had to settle for a club sandwich ($9) instead.
It wasn’t half bad, because the sandwich fillings were freshly made – the vegetables chopped, the egg fried and the bacon crisped, all in front of us while we waited after we had paid for our meal.
We didn’t test to see if an alarm would go off if we sat down before we paid , the sign being so fierce and in all caps. But the nice lady at the cashier’s did tell us that she’d been very kind to charge us only $4 for a double espresso when she could have charged us $6, $3 being the price of a single espresso. So, yeah, so thankful.
19 Tanglin Road
#02-24/25 Tanglin Shopping Centre
Singapore 247909 (map)